Slow Walk For What?
Chicago is home to a four day march, or rather slow walk, this weekend, from Chinatown to House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert's suburban office. 5000 people are expected at a rally Monday at Hastert's office.
Why is Chicago becoming such a hotbed for immigrant activity? Well one of the big stories here is a mother, Elvira Arellano, who's holed up in a local church to avoid deportation and separation from her son. She's scheduled to be deported, but he's a legal citizen because he was born here.
Chicago also has a large (illegal) immigrant population not only from Mexico, but Asia, which is why Chinatown is the starting point for this weekends rally.
And of course, Hastert is from the area, and he sets the House of Representatives agenda in Washington, and the House is the chamber that passed a very tough immigration reform plan last year, that didn't include any amnesty provisions.
Here's the deal on these rallies and marches though, they don't change opinion, they galvanize it. The folks who believe in open borders use them to try and convince people that the "human side" to immigration is being ignored. The folks against it use the (foreign) flag waving of the marchers as an example of why they need to go home. They don't want to be American's, they want to be (fill in nationality) who live in America and drain our resources.
The Arellano case shows the need for immigration reform, but in my opinion, not how her supporters would like it to be reformed. Birth right citizenship needs to end for those not born to a legal resident of the US.
I posted some months back, when the House was debating their bill that citizenship needs to become a tiered process for those born to foreign nationals. If they are here legally, the children receive "provisional citizenship", when the parents finish the nationalization process, the child becomes a full citizen. If the parent's don't, then the child doesn't receive citizenship, and the whole family returns to the country the parents are from.
If the parents can't prove legal status, we need to issue "non-citizen" birth certificates to children born of them. That change alone would eliminate a good portion of the illegal immigrant population. Automatic citizenship for children is a big draw bringing people to the US, remove it, and remove the incentive.
While some folks claim that would be too cumbersome, keep in mind that Mexico already does it. In fact, Mexico makes it nearly impossible for someone not born there to citizens to become a citizen.
The other thing that gets me about this weekends march, is that Miller beer, along with four major labor unions, are sponsoring the event. Each has a different reason, none of them given to the press very honest about why they are sponsoring it.
The unions claim it's a workers rights issue, but the truth is, it's a membership movement for them. They've pretty much failed at unionizing the big box retail industry, which they saw as their savior, and are now looking to other low wage, service sector jobs; many of which attract illegal immigrants. How exactly they support "open borders and free movement of people and goods", as one press release claimed, while spending millions to get NAFTA overturned and CAFTA from ever being signed is an interesting issue, though.
Miller, also using the open borders, and free movement of goods and people as their supposed reason, is in fact, looking to make inroads into the Hispanic marketplace in the US. They trail the Budweiser folks in that demographic (as well as most others), and are trying to find a way to gain some market share.
Of course the unions, and the Miller, fail to take into account the reaction of their current clients and members, to this type of sponsorship. For instance, how do unemployed textile workers, who belonged to the AFL-CIO; and were told for years (by the union) that cheap foreign labor killed their jobs; feel about the union basically supporting a march for cheap foreign labor?
How does the beer drinking public feel, portrayed for years as factory workers, feel about a beer maker supporting the folks who've supposedly stolen their jobs?
Will either of those groups stand up to the beer makers, and unions, and ask them to reconcile those positions? My guess is no, they won't, the general public doesn't seem to connect the dots too well on this type of stuff.
However, if you'd like to vote with your pocketbook, here's a few suggestions. If you are an MGD or other Miller product drinker, give Blue Moon or Killian's a try. Both are good beers, and brewed in Colorado (and soon Virginia) by Coors, which isn't sponsoring this weekends rally.
Technorati Tags: Beer, Illegal Immigration, Citizenship, Unions, Chicago, Elvira Arellano